Katina is a 43-year-old captive Orca whale who lives at SeaWorld’s Orlando location, where she is the matriarch of the pod. Katina was captured off of Iceland at three years old on October 26, 1978. Katina has had seven children during her time in captivity, and now has ten grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, this beloved matriarch has now suffered a horrible injury.
No one can be quite sure what day Katina truly had the accident, but it was reported by SeaWorld on March 17. According to their team, Katina was interacting with the other whales at the the time, and they believe it was the result of rough injury. According to a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, Naomi Rose, she has “never seen an injury like this among wild orcas” and others believe that the incident is a result of Katina getting her fin caught between the gate and twisting it.
It is likely that this injury will cause permanent damage to her fin, and it will take months to heal completely. As a result of her injury, protests have been springing up around the United States as animal rights activists fight against the practice of keeping these whales in captivity. No matter what comes from these protests, if anything, let’s pray that Katina heals up quickly!